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More than 100 affordable, energy-efficient homes coming to Denver's West Colfax neighborhood

More than 100 affordable, energy-efficient homes coming to Denver's West Colfax neighborhood
More than 100 affordable, energy-efficient homes coming to Denver's West Colfax neighborhood 02:37

More than a dozen shovels tossing sand on Wednesday morning marked the start of a new housing project along West Colfax in Denver. 

"The need was too great for this land to stand on the sidelines," said Sarah Harman, senior vice of real estate for Urban Land Conservancy.

The groundbreaking for the affordable housing complex in Denver's West Colfax neighborhood.  CBS

The land sits right next to the Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales Library at W. Colfax and Irving Street. It's an area in a seemingly constant state of development, and some neighbors say that has forced several families to leave due to rising rent.

"Where it gets really personal is our kids are in the local schools, so these are their classmates [that are displaced]," said Shantelle Mulliniks.

Mulliniks has lived in the West Colfax Neighborhood for more than a decade, so she's seen quite a bit of change. She told CBS News Colorado the coming affordable housing complex is a welcome addition.

"We're excited because that means we're reaching the population that's been overlooked in this development and gentrification cycle on West Colfax," she said.

The new complex is called "The Irving" and will offer more than 100 studio, one, two and three-bedroom units. It's designed to not only be affordable but energy efficient as well.

An artist's rendering of The Irving affordable housing complex.  Urban Land Conservancy

"Residents living in these soon-to-come 102 affordable homes will enjoy a fully electric building featuring solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and heat pumps to efficiently heat and cool all of their homes," Harman said during the groundbreaking ceremony.

According to ULC, the project is expected to meet or exceed the National Green Building Standards. Other climate-friendly features include energy-efficient appliances and lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, water-efficient landscaping and electric vehicle charging stations.

In 2011, ULC purchased the 2-acre site where The Irving will be built, alongside the library and Del Norte's affordable Avondale Apartments. The building was designed by Studio Completiva and will be built by Pinkard Construction.

"The Irving is the culmination of the community's long-term vision for Mile High Vista, a mixed-use development that offers affordable housing and library services," said Harman. "Because of the ongoing displacement of longtime residents in the West Colfax neighborhood, we believe it's more important than ever to deliver affordable housing here."

It's Mulliniks' hope that once construction is completed – which is expected to happen by mid-2025 – families once displaced will return to the neighborhood.

"You talk about teachers and workforce housing," she said. "It's the people who work in the neighborhood and want to live in the neighborhood, so those opportunities are exciting to keep a community intact."

Learn more about The Irving at

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